manica tatuata con elica del DNA che avvolge il braccio dal polso alla spalla. Un bambino, sull'avambraccio guarda verso l'alto un astronauta che si muove nello spazio come se stesse lavorando sul DNAn dietro all'astronauta vediamo la stazione spaziale, il pianeta terra e la luna e delle galassie, mentre dietro al bimbo scorgiamo al tramonto la base space X. Eseguito magistralmente dal miglior tatuatore italiano Jerry Magni. Bergamo, Milano, Lecco, Como, Varese, Brescia, Verona, Torino.

Re-elaborating an idea.

This guy came to me with a series of space related images but somewhat incongruent both stylistically and from the point of view of construction. I definitely wanted to avoid filling his arm with randomly placed images like pieces of wallpaper, with no rhyme or reason except for the space theme which was the only thing they had in common, and not even all of them, since his initial request included:

  • The earth
  • The Helix Nebula
  • The Butterfly Nebula
  • A provocative woman in the style of Leonardo’s Vitruvian man (I don’t think she would have been so provocative) merging with the Butterfly Nebula
  • A black hole, even better if with a rotating galaxy with the black hole at the center
  • A bell
  • The Wall St. bull
  • A bear
  • An arrow
  • A graph

A hodgepodge of fairly disconnected elements that I should have copied transforming the arm into a sort of collage, the meaning of which wouldn’t have been clear if not after a half an hour conversation with the client.

Therefore, during our preliminary meeting I explained all the limitations posed by his idea and I suggested using a completely different approach.

Childhood dreams

We began discarding the expendable elements and carefully evaluating “the story he wanted to tell” with his tattoo.

Many elements disappeared, leaving room for others, transforming the project from its very foundation, which has become a sort of story about the technological development of space exploration and the fascination it has exerted on him since he was a child.

A desire for adventure and evolution written in every human being’s DNA, the main and unifying element of the entire piece.

The most complex thing about this piece was definitely the child. The client wanted a portrait of himself as a child but didn’t have any pictures in a position similar to the one we needed. The pictures he showed me were all very small and of poor quality and, if that wasn’t enough, almost all of them were taken at a different age.

Imagine how it’s possible to define a child’s face without basically having anything to work on.

Therefore, after having extrapolated some distinctive traits, I got to work and an intense exchange of e-mails followed, until I was able to reach a result where the client was able to recognize himself.

Find the odd one out

On the inner wrist, the client had a tattoo of an ambigram that in my opinion would have clashed with the rest of the piece. We talked about it for a while but he clearly had no intention of covering it nor removing it or at least making it lighter by laser removal so that I could intervene.

He preferred to keep it in the hope of enhancing it. Unfortunately there is no way of enhancing a black lettering, the best I could do is add a white outline, but apart from that and considering that the tattoo is also pretty crooked, there isn’t much that can be done, so it will stay as it is.

A long wait

The Covid lockdowns slowed down the entire process. As if that weren’t enough, the client frequently travels internationally for his job, sometimes staying away for long periods of time. This further delayed the completion of the work which started over two years ago. But with a little patience we did it.

Now that the tattoo is complete I am very happy with it. Too bad about that ambigram on the wrist which, in my humble opinion, detracts from the value of the rest of the work.

I think it’s an original sleeve that, cleaned of all the elements the client initially wanted to include, manages to tell a story on many levels. As they say: less is more!


Below you can see all the stages of processing.